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January 4, 2010

Three days in Iran

Supporters of the opposition to Iran's current ruling regime continue to gather, speak out, and protest - despite the risks of imprisonment, injury or death, and the continued official restrictions on foreign media coverage. On December 21st, 2009, thousands of Iranians attended a funeral ceremony for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, who had passed away at the age of 87. In the days following the funeral, mourners and protesters took to the streets defying an official ban on such memorial services. On the Muslim holy day of Ashoura, December 27th, protesters and riot police clashed in multiple locations in Tehran, leaving many injured and between 8 and 37 protesters killed, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Days later, on December 30th, the Iranian government organized its own protest - against the opposition - giving all civil servants the day off to attend, providing dozens of buses and free chocolate milk for demonstrators. Collected here are photos from the three days, most taken by anonymous photographers, acquired outside the country by press agencies who are restricted by the government ban. (33 photos total)

Two pro-reform Iranian women attend the funeral ceremony of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, as they wear green headbands, the symbolic color of Iranian opposition, in the holy city of Qom, 125 km (78 mi) south of the capital Tehran, Iran on Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. Montazeri, who died Sunday at the age of 87, was a key figure in the 1979 Islamic Revolution who later accused his fellow clerical leaders of imposing dictatorship in the name of Islam. (AP Photo)

Iranians follow a truck transporting the coffin of dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Mintazeri in the Shi'ite holy city of Qom, Iran on December 21, 2009. Large crowds of mourners chanted anti-government slogans during the funeral of Iran's leading dissident cleric Montazeri in the holy city of Qom on Monday, websites reported. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Crowds of Iranians attend the funeral ceremony Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri in Qom, Iran on December 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Pro-reform Iranians hold up photographs and green banners as they attend the funeral ceremony of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, in the city of Qom, Iran, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. (AP Photo) #


December 27


Iranian protesters hold a rally on the Shi'ite mourning day of Ashoura in central Tehran, Iran December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Iranian riot police officers on their bikes during anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

Iranian riot police run towards opposition protesters during clashes in central Tehran December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Iranian riot police officers carrying stones and batons follow protesters, during an anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

A protester throws a stone at riot police during fierce clashes in central Tehran on December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A teargas canister, fired towards Iranian opposition supporters, is thrown back during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AFP/Getty Images) #

Iranian security forces on motorcycles surround opposition protesters during clashes in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AFP/Getty Images) #

Iranian opposition supporters beat police forces during clashes in central Tehran December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

An Iranian protester flashes the victory sign during anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

Iranian protesters flash the victory sign, as they cover their faces to avoid to be identified by security during anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

An injured Iranian opposition supporter gives a V-sign during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AMIR SADEGHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Police motorcycles burn as an Iranian opposition protester aims a stone at security forces trapped against storefronts by a crowd during clashes in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AFP/Getty Images) #

A protester throws a stone at riot police as protesters set their motorbikes on fire during fierce clashes in central Tehran, Iran on December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A dead body of a man who allegedly was shot during anti-government protest at the Enqelab (Revolution) St. in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

Iranian protesters take a policeman away to a safe place after he was beaten by angry protesters during fierce clashes in central Tehran December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Injured members of an Iranian security service sit protected by Iranian opposition supporters during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AMIR SADEGHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Iranian riot police officer, center, is held aloft by protesters as they put a green scarf, a symbolic color of the opposition, on his head after their clash during anti-government protest at the Enqelab (Revolution) St. in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

An opposition supporter covers his face with his bloodstained hand during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AMIR SADEGHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Iranian protesters shout during clashes in central Tehran December 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

An Iranian opposition supporter gestures during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. (AMIR SADEGHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi (center) receives condolences for the death of his nephew Seyed Ali Habibi-Mousavi in Tehran. Seyed Ali Habibi-Mousavi, the 35-year-old nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was shot dead in Tehran during protests on December 27 which turned into the bloodiest showdown between opposition protesters and security forces in months. Iranian police said on December 29 that "terrorists" killed the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in an incident unrelated to anti-government riots. (Arash Ashourinia/AFP/Getty Images) #


December 30


A supporter of the Iranian government waves the flag of Iran as he takes part in a protest against the opposition demonstration during holy day of Ashoura in Tehran December, 30 2009. The demonstration in Tehran's Enghelab square was one of several massive rallies in major Iranian cities, called for by clerics, seminary schools and the armed forces in response to a string of opposition protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June re-election. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

Pro-government Iranian demonstrators gather in a rally at the Enqelab (Revolution) Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) #

Pro-government Iranian demonstrators gather in a rally at the Enqelab (Revolution) Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) #

A large crowd of supporters of Iran's regime take to the streets in Tehran on December 30, 2009, in a show of force against the opposition which it accuses of being "pawns of the enemies." (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) #

Government supporters hold placards and pictures of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in protest against opposition demonstrations during Ashoura in Tehran December 30, 2009. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

Iranian demonstrators sign a scroll to deliver to the judiciary chief, condemning the opposition leaders, in a pro-government rally at the Enqelab (Revolution) Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) #

Supporters of Iran's regime carry a banner of the US, UK and Israeli flags as they take to the streets in Tehran on December 30, 2009. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) #

Female supporters of Iran's regime hold up a portrait of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (right) and founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, as they take to the streets in Tehran on December 30, 2009. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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